New to iOS? You’ll love how powerful Apple’s operating system is, its pretty, yes, but it also packs a hella lot inside.
This extensive iOS guide has a lot of tricks up for grabs for newbies, and avid users, exactly, both! Let’s start;
1. Long-press everything for context menus, content previews, and shortcuts for various actions. App icons, items in lists, links, most buttons in Safari, most buttons in Control Center, notifications, photos, songs, everything!
Note: If your device has 3D Touch, you can also force-press for the same purposes, but not all.
2. Swipe right from the left edge of the screen to go back in many apps, so you don’t need to reach for the Back button, which isn’t there on iPhone.
4. Swipe horizontally along the bottom edge of the screen to quickly switch apps or, if you’re on the Home screen, to re-open the last-used app (works on iPhone X, and above.)
5. Swipe left on items in lists in many apps to reveal actions like Delete. Some apps also have actions when you swipe right. Sometimes, swiping far enough triggers the action without having to tap it
6. Swipe down on photos and videos to close them in many apps, including in Camera to quickly return to the camera after viewing the preview.
7. Tap the status bar to quickly reach the top of a page.
8. Long-press the scroll bar, then drag it up and down to quickly scroll. You can flick it down to quickly reach the bottom of a page.
9. When a notification banner appears, swipe it up to dismiss it (it’ll still be in Notification Centre) or swipe it down to open it in place (great for replying to messages without leaving your current app.)
10. After opening Siri, swipe down in the middle of the screen to show the last interaction.
11. On the Home screen, swipe down in the middle of the screen to open Search (aka Spotlight), which lets you search your device, including third-party apps, and the web.
12. The Action button (sometimes called a Share button) opens the Share Sheet, which contains extra actions specific to each app (e.g. in Safari, Find on Page and Print actions), as well as share and action extensions provided by other apps (e.g. page translation in Safari), and shortcuts from the Shortcuts app.
13. Explore Accessibility settings. There’s a ton of customisation options in there.
Text Editing Basics
14. Long-press the space bar to enter trackpad mode to easily move the insertion point.
15. While in trackpad mode, tap the keyboard with a second finger to start selecting text.
16. Or drag the insertion point itself to move it. When you move your finger vertically while dragging, the cursor will stay one line above your finger, so you can see where it is
17. While dragging the insertion point, you can simultaneously use the keyboard with another finger to quickly type or delete characters in multiple places in your text.
18. Double-tap text to select a word.
19. Drag from the second tap without lifting your finger to quickly and easily select multiple words.
20. Triple-tap text to select a paragraph (as of iOS 13.4).
21. Drag the ends of the selected area to expand the selection.
22. Tap the insertion point (or next to it if there’s empty space) to open the text-selection menu (also opens automatically when selecting words) to find the Select All action.
23. Swipe horizontally in the text-selection menu to page through it without having to tap the small left and right arrows.
24. The Look Up action in the text-selection menu is really powerful. It includes a dictionary, thesaurus, and tons of other content related to the selected text, plus a shortcut to search the web with it.
Three-Finger Editing Gestures
25. Swipe left to undo (This and the next one also work for undoing or redoing basic actions in some apps, like deleting a message in Mail. You can also shake your phone to undo.)
26. Swipe right to redo.
27. Pinch in to copy.
28. Pinch in again to cut.
29. Pinch out to paste.
30. Tap to show menu with these commands.
Bonus Typing Tips
31. Double-tap space bar to type a period.
32. Drag finger from shift or symbol key to the desired character, then lift finger; keyboard will automatically switch back to the previous state. Super fast to type commas, question marks, etc.
33. Or hold shift or symbol key with one finger while typing with the other. Lifting the first finger will revert the keyboard.
34. Double-tap shift key to enable caps lock.
35. Long-press various keys for alternative symbols. For example, ° on the 0 key, • on the – key, etc.
36. Holding the side button and either volume button for a few seconds will show the shutdown screen, lock your phone, and deactivate Face ID, forcing you to input your passcode. Continue to hold the two buttons to automatically call the local emergency number wherever you are in the world.
37. In Calendar, double-tap the time picker to change from 5-minute increments to 1-minute.
38. In Wallet, long-press and drag payment cards to rearrange. Move one to the bottom of the payment cards section to set it as your default. You can long-press items to rearrange them in other apps, too, like lists and reminders in Reminders, tabs in Safari, etc.
39. In Messages, long-press the Send button for bubble and screen effects.
40. In Messages, in a conversation, swipe left to show each message’s time.
41. In Safari, tap a link with two fingers to open it in the background.
42. In Mail, long-press the New Message button to view drafts.
43. In Mail, when viewing a message, swipe left or right to activate the same swipe gestures as on the list screens.
44. In Maps, long-press the weather in the bottom right corner to view an hourly forecast. Tap the forecast to open it in Weather.
45. In Maps, tap the blue current location icon on the map to show the My Location view.
46. In Calculator, swipe horizontally on the number above the keypad to delete the last typed digit. Long-press or double-tap the number to show the Copy action.
47. In Calculator, rotate to landscape to show the scientific calculator.
48. In Music, on the Now Playing screen, tap the list icon to view what’s playing next, then swipe down to view history.
49. In Markup, tap the active tool for thickness and opacity options.
50. In Notes, when using lists (e.g. bullets, etc.), swipe horizontally on the item to adjust indentation.
51. In Notes, when viewing a note, swipe down, then tap the date to view the note’s creation date.
52. In Notes and Files, swipe down on a list to find sorting and viewing options.
53. In Reminders, swipe right on an item to indent it, turning it into a subtask of the previous item.
54. In Reminders, type something like “Call mom next wed 4p” to quickly add a due date and time. Just tap the suggestion that appears above the keyboard to confirm it.
55. In App Store, on the Updates screen, swipe left on an app to show the Delete action.
56. In Activity, on the Trends tab, tap each trend to see more info.
57. In Health, Stocks, Activity > Trends, and Screen Time, tap and hold on the graphs, then swipe across the graph to view details. Tap and hold with two fingers in Health and Stocks to view a range, then swipe either finger to adjust the range.
58. In Stocks swipe left on the date range buttons above the graph for more options.
59. In Settings > Battery, tap each hour or day in the graph to see data for that period.
60. Use the Measure app to measure small distances in the real world. It also includes a level that works with the phone in any orientation, including laying flat. When using the level, the screen will turn green at 0°. Tap the screen to temporarily set the current measurement to 0°.
61. In Compass, tap the screen to lock a direction. Tap the coordinates to open Maps in compass mode.
62. In Maps, tap the Current Location button to center the map on your current location, then tap it again to enter compass mode.
63. In a Group FaceTime call, double-tap a person’s video window to pin their video and limit the motion on the screen. No one else will know you did this.
64. In some apps, like Messages and Mail, in a list view, swipe vertically with two fingers to quickly enter selection mode and start selecting items. When in selection mode, swipe vertically on the circular checkboxes to quickly select many of them.
65. In Notification Center, long-press the X button to show the Clear All Notifications action.
66. When a screen opens by sliding up from the bottom, you can usually close it by swiping it down, so you don’t need to reach for the Done or Cancel button.
67. When downloading or updating an app, tap its icon on the Home screen to pause downloading or long-press it for Prioritize, Pause, and Cancel actions.